Wednesday's issue of L.A. Weekly dropped a bombshell. A bombshell of hate. It's high time, according to their story, for our neighbors to the south to "start hating San Francisco."
As the greatest mind of San Dimas once said: "Woah."
Hate San Francisco? Really, L.A.? What could possibly move you to look up from your morning bowl of nutritional yeast and bean sprouts to decide to be very un-Dude-like to us?
Well, first, there's our out-of-control cost of living: "Despite its loudly trumpeted progressivism, San Francisco is the most gilded big city in America." Then there's our abundance of Silicon Valley douchebags. Not to mention our ongoing struggles with displacement and gentrification. But these problems are as longstanding as the Hollywood sign. So what's L.A. really mad about?
From what we can gather, they're mad at us most because they think we don't like them: "The Bay Area citizen regards Los Angeles as a vast, suburban wasteland without art, culture or human redemption. We are a gluttonous city with little regard for literature, nature or recycling."
That's not an accurate portrait of what San Franciscans think of Los Angeles. No. Not at all. You're not a vast, suburban wasteland without art, culture, or human redemption. (That's San Diego.) You're a vast, suburban wasteland without art, culture, or human redemption—that we secretly are in love with. It's true—we've had an unrequited crush on you for years, City of Pornographic Angels.
But, like a sixth grader struggling through puberty, the only way we know how to flirt is to throw worms at you. The truth is, we want to have sexy time with you badly, Los Angeles. You're the hottest 29-year-old bleached-blonde, silicone-enhanced, part-time yoga instructor/body thetan auditor with a call back to read for a speaking role in The Fast and the Furious 19 we've ever laid eyes on.
We love it that Donald Sterling reminded us that racism was dead. We love that your Mayor is a Mexican-Italian-Russian Jew. We loved it when proto-Angelenos Kim and Kanye took over our baseball park. We were so jealous of Carmagaddeon! We even loved it when you stole all of our state's water supply so you could build a city in the desert. So smart, you guys!
Everything that the L.A. Weekly offers in defense of its city is true. Tom Wolfe's Pump House Gang, which took its name from a group of SoCal surfers, is so much better than the Right Stuff or Bonfire of the Vanities. (The title essay's actually about La Jolla, but whatever.) It's also true, like L.A. Weekly says, that the Doors are the best rock band ever. Our favorite song is that one where a fat Jim Morrison got really drunk and slurred something about the Lizard King while the rest of the band half-assed a blues riff behind him. The gypsies had no homes—the Doors had no bass! And it's also correct to say that the "post-counterculture chi of leftism gone upscale—yoga, animal rights, modern sushi—is a Los Angeles creation." We're so jealous how you took our stuff about peace, love, and happiness and turned it into a competition to snag the same Kabbalah instructor that Madonna has. Brilliant stuff.
So there, we said it. We love L.A.
But what really hurt our feelings was this paragraph: "SoCal is the birthplace of contemporary skateboarding, surfing, hot-rodding, off-roading, import car tuning, streetwear, American rave culture, medical marijuana profiteering, and Coachella. If you hate us, you must hate those things." We're into all those things! Surfing? Just ask Vinod Khosla. Hot rodding? Every heard of a little movie called Gran Torino? Coachella? We love Coachella! San Francisco is so peaceful and quiet that week.
So this is kind of awkward, but in a way, we're glad that L.A. Weekly gave us a chance to admit how we really feel about Los Angeles. We're blushing so hard at the very thought that you even noticed us. All these years that we went around saying that Los Angeles was a poorly-planned, smog-infested, sprawling tribute to the mouse-eared nihilism of American culture, we never thought we actually had a shot with you. Now that you're paying attention to us, that changes everything.
We do want to clear up one little thing, though.
When you wrote that "Los Angeles has more than its share of problems, but at least we don't shove our hypocritical self-satisfaction down your throat," you were a little off-base. It's not hypocritical self-satisfaction if your city really is the pinacle of human civilization. It's just the truth.